Pop Culture

Leave the Bikers From The Book of Boba Fett Alone!

Sophie Thatcher on the cool bike in the Book of Boba Fett

For some reason, there are lots of people angry that there were colorful hoverbikes in Star Wars. It’s like they ignored the fact that Greedo was bright-ass green. The controversy online overshadowed actual criticism of the third episode of The Book of Boba Fett, because fans were complaining that it did not feel Star Wars-y. What that means, I do not know. I guess it means not wearing a bra in space because it’ll strangle you. (I’m trying to convey that there is nothing Star Wars-y. Star Wars is what we make of it. Han Solo walked around dressed like a sorority girl with a fluffy dog man. There are no rules.)

Thanks to The Hollywood Reporter, we got a look into the virtual Television Critics Association press tour panel for the show, where stars Temuera Morrison and Ming-Na Wen were asked about the bike gang that Boba adopts in episode 3 of the series. They were asked … mainly because, at times, Star Wars fans focus on the wrong thing to be upset about, like ignoring the killing off of the Tuskens that Boba was with to, instead, focus on bikes that are bright colors. Ok.

“Some of these things are out of our control. We can’t say as performers, ‘We don’t want to work with these people, that’s not good enough.’ … They brought a lot of color to it, I thought … they were great, were working hard,” Morrison said, and he’s right. It isn’t up to him; he’s the man playing Boba Fett, and also, he’s right again: They brought color and were great.

Ming-Na Wen went on to bring Star Wars history into the conversation, since a lot of fans with their complaints about the color seem to forget where George Lucas started. “This is a real homage to the things [creator] George Lucas always loved — whether it was the Mods in the ’60s, or [Lucas’ hot rod film] American Graffiti. At the same time, it lends itself to learning more about Tatooine. And Sophie was a lovely human being, and I definitely enjoyed getting to know her.”

The treatment of the Tuskens

The actual controversy of the episode came with the murder of the Tusken tribe that Boba was living with. Morrison explained how he pulled from his own culture and history in his portayal and what went into bringing the Tuskens to The Book of Boba Fett.

“[Their portrayal] was better than it was [in the films],” Morrison said. “Then I read [in the script that] we were throwing dead bodies just on the fire and I was going, ‘Oh, hang on, we got to put a bit of ceremony into this.’ But they are the Indigenous of the sands of Tatooine, and I was creating a little bit more history about their own culture — and I was pulling from my own culture, in a way, in terms of the ceremonies and preparing the warrior and preparing a weapon. And Boba has never experienced a real family before — with the young Tuskens and the old Tuskens — and protecting their land.”

Wen stated: “We knew so little about the Tuskens, and [the show] really gave them an incredible backstory. … I thought all those elements really enrich who the Tuskens are, … and [setting the bodies on fire] was part of Star Wars, with A New Hope, whether it’s the Jawas, when they were attacked, there is this ceremonious desire on Tatooine to burn the bodies as opposed to letting them lie out in the open in the desert.”

Why focus on the bikers, then?

To be quite honest, I think those focusing their hatred on the biker gang are the same kind of fans who will sit there and tell us all that Han Solo is a ladies’ man (he’s not) or that Luke Skywalker isn’t dramatic (he is). They see Star Warsthrough their own strange lens, and if anything veers off their idea of the series, they hate it. It is what makes the series toxic, at times, to enjoy. There will always be someone who thinks they know what Star Wars is and will try to ruin others’ joy because of that.

As someone with a Princess Leia tattoo on my arm and a cut quote from Rogue One on the other arm, I’m saying that the biker gang was fun, and I hope we get to see more of Boba’s adoptive family. And if you didn’t like them? That’s fine too, but focusing your entire critique of a show on that because it isn’t the Star Wars that you know is missing the larger image and taking away from criticisms that are important to call out.

Anyway, I would like a cool fun space bike. Thank you.

(image: Lucasfilm)

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